Does anyone actually use the Vestax VCM 600 with Ableton?

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Does anyone actually use the Vestax VCM 600 with Ableton?

Post by metrowilliams » Sat Nov 29, 2008 9:11 am

I'm doing a hell of a lot of research before i spend money on a digital dj set up. been looking at the vestax vcm600. but it is very expensive. does anyone actually use this controller with ableton live? i did a search and even though people discuss it on the forum, i never found a post where someone actually uses it with Live.

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Post by philmb » Sun Nov 30, 2008 12:30 pm

Good question. I'm wantin one of these. They do LOOK pretty sick.

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Post by metrowilliams » Sun Nov 30, 2008 4:23 pm

anyone? come on you funky dudes

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Post by cdebari » Mon Dec 01, 2008 2:43 am

My friend has one...
If your planing to DJ with it you still need an interface (unless you want to be ghetto)
The lights are cool for feedback (we assigned the EQ kills as clip launchers)
Love the Tempo slider +

It's solid though all the faders/knobs feel nice (same quality stiff knobs and medium faders you can expect from vestax)
It would have been better to have a line down each channel of buttons all the same like 6 at least so you can go through and lanuch clips right down each row.

I use a DJM 800+firewire 410 to Dj and the VCM 800 gives you so much more to assign midi wise (effects, sends, triggers)
Worth the money! but wish it was more of a traditional size and wasn't so 19''...
GEAR- Public library computer limited to 1 hour per day

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Post by siddhu » Mon Dec 01, 2008 5:44 am

@cdebari - where did your mate buy his Vestax?

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Post by Schuft » Mon Jan 26, 2009 11:46 am

I received my VCM 600 a week ago or so.

Build quality is really good. The faders and the knobs feel solid.
The buttons quality though is not as good as the buttons quality of a monome. I think if you use'em very often, they may suffer (but we'll see). The buttons are made of plastic whereas the buttons of a monome are made of silicon which feels better IMO. But they are usable !

A disappointment for me as a dj are the 3 EQ knobs per track. I would have expected them to have a physical snap in at 0dB (middle position) like you find it on many dj mixers. So you wouldn't have to have a look at the knobs or the screen everytime to know if you are at 0dB again. Although all knobs have a physically feelable marker indicating the current value. Due to this marker you can "feel" the approximate (0dB) position.
But even if the EQ knobs had the physical snap in at their middle position the other problem would be that the VCM knobs middle position doesn't represent the (MIDI CC) value of Lives EQ 0dB position. Thus on the VCM 600 you would have to be able to define an EQ knob curve or something like that. (Maybe achievable through a Bomes script as well !?)
Now I worked around it in the following way: In Lives MIDI mapping I created manual assignments for each tracks EQ knobs. Then for each of this assignments I defined a max value of 0dB. By doing that I'm not able to push frequencies above 0dB anymore but to lower them only. But in the end for me it doesn't really matter I think .. at least when it's about digital DJing and leveling. I don't use a Compressor (or Limiter plugin) on each track. I play all my songs at -0,2dB to 0dB. If you'd then apply an additional EQ frequency push it would result in an ugly digital distortion .. which I'm trying to avoid of course. (OK, same is for applying other effects like Filter. How do you guys handle this circumstance ? I know that Tarekith is giving some usefull tips on leveling ->

A lot of knobs sit very close to each other. This may result in handling problems if you have big finger(tip)s like me ;-) But if you're fine with the XONE 92 knob layout/positions then you're fine with the VCM 600 as well. I'd say you get used to it.

The crossfader feels good physically but the response behavior in Live is really bad (at least in my individual setup here using a pretty lame laptop, 1,6GHz single Core). I don't know if this is due to my setup or to the old MIDI protocol.
Sometimes I like to scratch in some stuff (that comes from real vinyl or from MsPinky plugin) which wasn't a problem using my former analog mixer (XONE 92) but right now with the VCM 600 it is :-( (which was to expect of course) My only hope is that things get better on a faster system. But IMO the only way of getting a better response would be to use the OSC protocol (but the VCM 600 is hardcoded to put out MIDI commands only).

Session View navigation and clip launching for DJing is acceptable IMO. Via the scene up/down rotary encoder/push button in conjunction with the Clip, Track and Play Buttons per channel you are fine without using a mouse.
For other purposes you might want to have a clip launch matrix. (For that I'm using my monome with the application 'pages' ->

I agree with cdebari, even more buttons per Channel would have been nice. You can't have enough buttons per channel ;-)
But as I only use 6 Tracks at the same time I'm using the "Track Bank" feature (Bank1: Tracks 1-6, Bank2: Tracks 7-12) to use the buttons of bank 2 for the Tracks 1-6 of Bank1 as well. For functions you don't use that often (e.g. like Crossfade assign).

For DJing IMO I think I'm better off using a VCM 600 (and optional a monome) instead of a APC40. Not at least due to the EQs per Channel only but due to the many knobs and buttons per channel in general.

If you have further questions please let me know !

Ah, maybe one thing yet. I used "Bome's Midi Translator" to customize and extend the functionaly of individual button presses. One example:

On a Track I have a BeatRepeat effect. Now I want the BeatRepeat to apply only as long as I'm pressing a button (gate mode), e.g. the HiCut button. But Live devices 'On' Buttons per default are working in toggle mode only (and aren't configurable). That means a button press (NoteOn) truns a device on and another button press (NoteOn) turns the device off again. A button release (NoteOff) is ignored by Live devices 'On' button. So i created regarding Bome's translation rules that send another NoteOn MIDI command when receiving a NoteOff command. Thus now I'm able to activate a device by pressing a button and immediately deactivating it again by releasing the button (gate mode).
The syncing of the button LED status is working as well (The button is lit as long as I'm pushing it).

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Post by Lephrenic » Tue Jan 27, 2009 12:37 am

For the money, I'd rather save a bit more for the Korg Zero 8.
MacBook Pro 2.2GHz, OSX 10.6.6
Presonus Firebox, APC40
Ableton Suite 9

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Post by dodeca » Wed Feb 18, 2009 4:59 am

I dunno about the Zero 8. I haven't heard great things about it.

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Post by dodeca » Wed Feb 25, 2009 5:50 am

Just got my VCM600 today... whee!

The thing is built like a tank, and pretty much does everything I want it to for DJing/live remixing.

I agree with the no snap at 0db... I'll have to wait until this weekend to see if that ends up being a pain or not.

Although, I do have a workaround for that center position being at 0db. I use an EQ8 for the knob based EQ, with only 3 bands turned on (low/mid/high). Then I map the knobs to the gain of those three bands. I follow the EQ8 with an EQ3, which I use to map the button kills to.

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Post by Superchibisan » Wed Feb 25, 2009 7:14 am


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Re: Does anyone actually use the Vestax VCM 600 with Ableton?

Post by Proof » Fri Feb 27, 2009 7:11 am - Video Interviews of NZ's top Producers and DJs - Bromide Dub's Artist Page
Live PA - Ableton, VCM600, APC40, Nord Lead 2, DSI Evolver, Access Virus B, MachineDrum and more..

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